Monday, 26 September 2011

Apples and Autumn Leaves

Good was your weekend? I hope it was lovely! Mine was of the best things to come from losing one of my 2 library jobs is that I am no longer working 3 Saturdays out of every 4, which gives me more time to spend with my lovely husband. This Saturday, we made the short walk into town. Sometimes we go 'the pretty way' which is a tiny path that runs along the back gardens of one street of houses on one side, and the back gardens of another row of houses on the other. Although there are fences, there are also garden gates, so you can peek in as you walk. There is one garden in particular that is just so beautiful it always makes me smile. We spotted 3 cats, including one laying in a tree just like a panther! Last week, autumn came to that little path. Overnight, many leaves fell from the trees. The curious thing was that the leaves hadn't really been turning colour along there, yet there were drifts of them in every rusty hue you can imagine. Alas, that night, the rain came, and the next day it seemed that all the colour had washed away, yet happily there was left the beautiful scent of wet leaves, that along with woodsmoke and cinnamon, is autumn to me. The leaves have dried out now, but they are all muted and no longer as scrunchy...I am hoping for another drift of leaves soon!

Having wandered through our little path, we visited the Shire Hall, where a tiny vintage fair was being held. I do love to look round it, although as I say it is small, and it does seem to be the same stalls with the same things each month. But still, nice to look round, and my lovely husband bought me a present! One of the stalls was selling mainly crocheted lovelies (bedsocks and phone covers!) and had garnished their wares with a few vintage books, amongst which was a white tome with a silver spine titled 'For The Bride'. I picked it up, and it was a household guide for the new bride from the 50s! Carl asked me if I would like it, which of course I said yes to, and he bought it for me. Very unexpected and so lovely of him, I gave him a kiss....only I forgot I was wearing my red lipstick, so then I had to wipe him off...which made the lady running the stall giggle!

We then went through to the tea room, which is a pop-up affair run by the Plum Fairy. They have tables laid with embroidered tablecloths and pretty mismatched floral crockery. We took a seat at one laid with a cloth with yellow flowers, and ordered a pot of tea, and a slice of Victoria Sponge each. It was just heavenly to be sitting there on a Saturday morning, sipping tea and nibbling cake. What really made me smile though was that the Shire Hall is also home to our Court, so there were posters up advising you that if you were going to plead guilty, you had to ask a clerk for a particular form!

This morning we had breakfast at our kitchen table, by candlelight. Such little tiny things as lighting a candle make a real difference to the feel of the day, I find. We had a recipe that I have adapted from a book that I got from the library, and it was will definitely be appearing on the menu again!

Autumn Apple Breakfast Bowls

For each person, take an apple, core and slice it into wedges (I have one of those lovely cutters that you just press down from the top of the apple, and it does it in one go!). Tumble the wedges into a small ovenproof bowl, and sprinkle over 1-2tsp of brown sugar, and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the apple is soft. (Don't use a cooking apple, you don't want apple sauce here! Any eating apple you have is fine!)

While it is baking, take a small tub of greek yoghurt and stir into it a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, to your own personal taste.

Take the bowl of cooked apple out of the oven, and generously top with the yoghurt. Then sprinkle over some kind of oaty cereal....granola, or even some oats you have toasted in the pan.

Serve by candlelight for a happy start to the week.

This recipe was inspired by one I found in Vintage Tea Parties by Angel Adoree which arrived from the library on Friday, and I have already devoured. I haven't felt so tingly and excited about a book for a long time, and I am trying to justify the £10 it would cost me to buy on amazon. It is less floral and Cath-Kidston-y than my usual taste but is just wonderful. As well as recipes and menus, there are sections on putting up your hair, making Union Jack flags and other tea-party-ish crafts. The recipes themselves are split into Brunch Tea Parties, Afternoon Tea Parties and Evening Dinner Parties. I don't believe I read a single recipe that I am not desperate to try! There was also a nice selection of tea-based cocktails. The book is beautifully styled as well, and has given me lots of ideas for presenting my cookery at home. If you have pennies to spare, or a friendly local library, I can't recommend this quirky book enough!

I have a very long to-do list today, and I am working the rest of the week, so I must away...but I do hope you are having a beautiful Monday, and if you do try the breakfast recipe, do let me know what you think!


1 comment:

Dinahsoar said...

Your walk to town sounds perfect...I miss the fall season up north where I lived in my youth. I'm betting it was more like the British clime than the deep south and south of my current years. Fall is often too hot down here.

Follow that walk by a vintage faire!!..does it get any better?

Well, yes, tea at an establishment called The Plum Fairy...sounds like a storybook day. The embroidered linens and mismatched crockery: love love.

I think you must buy the book vintage Tea Parties. From the way you speak of it, I think it will be a treasure you will enjoy for years to come. Borrowing it and reading it is not the same as owning it and having it accessible.

The apple/yogurt/oat combination is one I have eaten often myself. I top with oats and add in some walnuts.

Life is sounding very cozy and wonderful in your corner of the world.

I am going to have a good Monday...the to-do list is short and all fun stuff like crochet and rubber stamping.